Deadboy & the Elephantmen | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Deadboy & the Elephantmen 

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Dax Riggs's mid-90s band, Acid Bath, attracted a loyal following thanks to a posthardcore metal sound and an unusually freewheeling, loopy sensibility: songs like "Dr. Seuss Is Dead" and stunts like using John Wayne Gacy paintings for album art made the group more Butthole Surfers than, say, fellow Louisianans Soilent Green. But in his current band, a duo with drummer and singer Tessie Brunet, Riggs goes even further into left field. We Are Night Sky, their forthcoming Fat Possum debut, is quietly sinister: on the acoustic tracks Riggs wanders around the underground-folk field with a hood over his head trying to scare people who are tripping, and on the louder songs there's a dark romantic mysticism that occasionally sounds like Iron & Wine struggling with power chords. I love Riggs's lyrics: at his liveliest he's like Marc Bolan and Ronnie James Dio in a vicious freestyle face-off, punctuated by plus-ten fireballs of lucidity like "I envy the night / For its absence of light." The Manners play second and the Death Ships open. Sat 12/10, 10 PM, Schubas, 3159 N. Southport, 773-525-2508, $8.

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